The Old Mansion

By James G. Piatt

The haughty mansion carelessly wore rusted
metal shingles; gray cobwebs covered broken
Palladian windows, splintered mahogany sills
rotted below; tall trees around the house dying,
grass dead, an empty cracked swimming pool
sitting forlornly in the midst of broken California
stones like a huge mouth agape in
disappointment. The manor was stark,
unyielding to laughter, a corroded shattered
temple of excess: Arrogant footsteps, the odor
of power, and drunken laughter long gone:
shattered Tiffany lamps strewn on tattered
Oriental carpets in huge joyless rooms, ragged
16th Century antique furniture sitting amidst
layers of dust, spider webs, and lost hopes,
waiting, waiting for the scion of lost wealth to
become rich again and reclaim his decaying
property, but he has gone forever, resting
uncomfortably now in a crumbling cement


James G. Piatt’s relatives, John James Piatt and Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt, were prolific poets who wrote their poetry in the eighteen hundreds. Their poetry has inspired much of his style of poetry. He is the author of two poetry books, The Silent Pond (2012) and Ancient Rhythms (2014). His third poetry book is set for release in late 2014. He has published over 545 poems, and his poem, “The Night Frog,” was nominated for best of web 2013.